One should always think of what one is about: when one is learning, one should not think of play: and when one is at play, one should not think of one’s learning.
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- Never seem wiser, nor more learned, than the people you are with. Wear your learning, like your watch, in a private pocket: and do not merely pull it out and strike it; merely to show that you have one.
- Wear your learning like a watch and do not pull it out merely to show you have it. If you are asked for the time, tell it; but do not proclaim it hourly unasked.
- A man of sense only trifles with them, plays with them, humors and flatters them, as he does with a sprightly and forward child; but he neither consults them about, nor trusts them with, serious matters.
- It is commonly said that ridicule is the best test of truth; for that it will not stick where it is not just. I deny it. A truth learned in a certain light, and attacked in certain words, by men of wit and humor, may, and often doth, become ridiculous, at least so far, that the truth is only remembered and repeated for the sake of the ridicule.
- Learning is acquired by reading books, but the much more necessary learning, the knowledge of the world, is only to be acquired by reading men, and studying all the various facets of them.
- Custom has made dancing sometimes necessary for a young man; therefore mind it while you learn it, that you may learn to do it well, and not be ridiculous, though in a ridiculous act.